National Journal Online

Today's eReads Updated: Microsoft CEO Says It Got Lucky, Gates To Testify

C Spire, the regional wireless operator formerly known as Cellular South, will be the fourth wireless operator to get the newest iPhone, gaining access to the popular smart phone before its larger rival T-Mobile USA, Reuters reports.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company got lucky when its bid to buy Yahoo in 1998 was rejected, CNN reports.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 5:40pm

U.S. Seeks Details of China's Internet Restrictions

The U.S. government announced on Wednesday that it is seeking detailed information about China’s Internet restrictions and how they may impact trade.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he is requesting that the World Trade Organization look into how China’s policies of blocking websites may harm U.S. companies.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 4:40pm

After Criticism, Supers to Meet Publicly Again

The deficit-reduction super committee will hold a public hearing next Wednesday on security and non-security discretionary spending—only its fourth public event.

(RELATED: Key Dates for the Super Committee)

The panel of 12 Republicans and Democrats, formally called the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years by Nov. 23, also publicly held its initial organizational meeting.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 4:40pm

Poll: Romney's Image Rating Rivals Obama's

About half of Americans have a favorable impression of Mitt Romney, according to a new Associated Press poll released Wednesday, a significant improvement over the past eight weeks that makes the former Massachusetts governor the best-positioned candidate to defeat a vulnerable President Obama.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 4:40pm

Huntsman Tries to Define Himself as Anti-Big Bank

GOP presidential hopeful and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's editorial in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday on the lingering problems of "too big to fail" financial firms let him toe the Republican line against Dodd-Frank financial reform while taking a swipe at big banks and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive front-runner who has cleaned up in contributions from Wall Street.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 3:40pm

Boucher Looks Into His Crystal Ball On Privacy Legislation

Former Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., a key player on tech and telecom issues for more than two decades, made some bold and not-so-bold predictions on Wednesday about the fate of privacy and data security legislation this Congress.

The not-so-bold prediction is that lawmakers will not pass broad comprehensive privacy legislation this Congress, a view echoed by both privacy advocates and industry critics of such proposals.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 3:40pm

Cantaloupe Food Poisoning Spread at Dirty Facility, FDA Says

Twenty-five people have been killed by listeria-contaminated cantaloupe, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday, and a dirty food-packing facility may have helped spread it.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 123 people have been made seriously ill in the outbreak. Far more were likely infected, but listeria doesn’t always cause serious symptoms, and doctors do not always test people for listeria when they are sick.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Perry Calls for Replacing Income Tax With Flat Tax

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for replacing the federal income tax with a flat tax, a conservative idea long condemned by liberals as a regressive burden on lower- and middle-income taxpayers.

The Republican presidential hopeful previewed his economic plan for the country at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, but offered few details. He said he would unveil a proposal next week calling for creation of a flat tax, which would replace the present system of graduated tax rates based on income with a single rate for all taxpayers, regardless of income.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Hospital Infection Rates Drop, CDC Says

Patients were less likely to get certain infections in U.S. hospitals last year thanks to a concerted campaign to prevent them, federal officials announced on Wednesday.

They found a 33 percent reduction in central-line infections – caused when a thin tube is inserted into a patient’s neck or chest to deliver medication and check blood. Infections caused by catheters used to collect urine from bed-bound patients fell by 7 percent in 2010; surgical-site infections fell 10 percent; and dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections dropped 18 percent.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm